tv Inside Politics CNN August 3, 2014 5:30am-6:01am PDT
and thank you all so much for watching us. make some great memories today. >> thank you very much for tuning in. "inside politics" with john king starts now. have a good sunday. a tea party revolt humili e humiliates the house republican leadership again. the speaker john boehner insists the gop is not to blame. >> i'm not going to accept responsibility for the fact the united states senate can't act. >> listen to house members when they're told they have to work one more day on the border crisis before a five-week paid vacation. washington is so broken the president can only joke about ways to cut deals with congress. >> i'll go to them. i'll wash their car. walk their dog.
plus if the two parties agree on one thing, it is this -- there is a fund-raising gold mine threatening to sue the president. >> that money coming in is practically spontaneous. people are very upset. >> "inside politics," the biggest stories sourced by the best reporters, now. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thanks for sharing your sunday morning. with us to share their reporting and insights, john than martin, mike allen, robert costa of "the washington post" and nia-malika henderson of "the washington post." the tea party had one big win at the ba ballot box but it proved it is still the tail that wags the daing you in washington. house speaker john boehner and his new leadership team faced the first big test on the border crisis and once again they had to retreat in the face of a tea party revolt. is it, robert costa, they can't count votes or is this proof these guys just can't govern? >> i think it's partly a little bit of both.
i think house speaker boehner is constantly struggling to get the conservative right within his conference on his side, and he has to capitulate to them constantly. he met with michele bachmann and steve king late thursday night to try to get them to come along. if you have to grovel to king and bachmann at the 11th hour that says something about your power. >> it says something also, mike, this was a recalibration and when eric cantor got beat, he gets beat and leaves the leadership, they bring in steve scalise, he's from the tea party, knows these guys this is another personal humiliation for the speaker and his team. is this enough? >> partly. what they were talking about doing was not enough money, president obama would never accept the policy so it was never going and the very time the voters are saying we hate all of you, they're giving them a new reason >> they are giving them a new reason, an excellent point,
government by stunt. democrats are doing the sail thing, just not as loudly or crazeily so they don't get much attention. ted cruz didn't do everything here but ted cruz is the tea party darling, the freshman senator from texas. democratic group, american bridge put this out, that's baby john boehner, little speaker in the baby carriage. in washington, if you're john boehner his reputation, i've been here 25 years this say serious guy who wants to legislate, who likes to talk policy, and he's herding cats. >> he's herding cats and ted cruz over there, speaker cruz as you say sort of sensing blood in the water there and caucusing with folks in the sort of junior leagues over in the house, and boehner doesn't look like he's having very much fun at this point. you wonder what's going on there. >> i had a house member tell me that when eric cantor, who obviously lost his primary as we all know earlier this year, the first caucus meeting of the house republicans after that
happened that john boehner broke down crying, not entirely out of nostalgia for the end of the cantor era. >> out of character for boehner. >> because he realized he couldn't leave. he had to stay there for even longer because cantor was now gone. he had to be the adult minding the store but this week proves again that the adults still are not in charge and the house and it is still controlled and as mike says, not even for a substantive bill. they can't even pass a stunt bill. >> i often make the point that, you know, in my view, everybody's now playing to the base. everybody's playing poll pistol ticks including the president of the united states who again i say this, he should try more. but the white house argument back is why. why should we try with these guys? even if we cut a deal with boehner he won't be able to sell it to his people. i think at the end of the week that white house argument has a bit more juice behind it. >> that's why "so sue me" from the president captured both how he thinks and the reality, it's mars and venus and he's not
trying so they're not trying. >> john, by the way, campaigns matter. look at all the elections this year, the establishment spending millions of dollars, has repelled the tea party but eric cantor with little help from the national groups loses to an unknown, dave brat. what happened after that? john boehner said we're not doing immigration reform this year and they can't pass money to strengthen the border. so campaigns matter. that cantor loss still resounds. >> they can't even pass what they want. this is not giving the president what he wants, this is more money for border security, the revised version to get this through was to add a little bit of money for the national guard, but if they're having trouble, the republicans have for five years said the president won't pay enough attention to the border. not enough resources going to the border security. they write a sham bill talking about more money for border security and can't pass that. what does that tell you? >> one of the excuses for suing him he's making changes to a health care law they say they
don't want enforced so there's no consistency. >> they also in sort of turning away from their sham bill they also said well the president should go around congress and take some executive actions on his own. >> that's a great point. when they thought they were going to pass the first version. >> right. >> speaker boehner put out a statement saying the president should not have any more unilateral actions. congress is going to take command here and get involved. he said the president has authority to act out on his own. which john boehner is talking at which hour. to your point about sham, senate democrats also went home before the house, because the house stayed to try again. senate democrats could not bring a vote to the floor, they cut some money from the president's plan but they knew it was not a serious piece of legislation and two of their vulnerable democrats, kay hagan of north carolina, mary landrieu of louisiana voted no, they voted with the republicans to not even consider the debate. why? why do some vulnerable democrats say i'll bring it to the floor for debate and these two say no?
>> the phone lines melted on capitol hill. you speak to democrats in the senate, you speak to moderate republicans on the fence republicans in the house they said they were inundated with calls, when you're out on the campaign trail, people are talking about immigration, they're concerned about the border. this is activating people on both sides of the aisle, and i think a lot of these elected officials are listening. >> why do they get their full pay if they won't vote on hard stuff? you could make an argument this past week was one of the most productive weeks in this congress in the sense they cut a deal on va reforms and thank god they did, because we need to figure out a way to get the veterans. >> the transportation bill counts as action. >> they punt transportation so at least there's money for the highway trust fund. punting in this congress is almost like a touchdown. so you could argue it's productive but they won't do anything hard. immigration is hard and they won't do it. >> the political capital gets something done, paul ryan, john boehner, they don't have political capital. >> is that the political capital and the paycheck? not to do hard things? >> i'm not sure anyone has it
especially in the house gop. >> this is why what happened this week was a huge mistake. immigration is not hard but also very visible, something people see every night, they understand. almost everything else they put off is abstract or maybe will be a problem in the future. but this is like an extremely vivid case of congress not responding to something that obviously needs to be fixed >> and it hadn't been so vivid before. it was a political conversation with advocates on both sides pushing for immigration reform but this brought it to the fore in the way it hadn't before and changed theical laos. before this was an issue that democrats owned outright. now some of the charges against obama about being the deporter-in-chief muddies the waters a bit for democrats. >> obviously, jonathan, the congressional republicans think their inaction doesn't hurt them and maybe helps them. you think when it comes to the house elections they're wrong. they've clearly made the calculation, it appears they don't want to send the president anything, don't want their names on the piece of the legislation
that makes the president's desk. >> you look at polls vulnerable democratic senators that republicans are taking, one thing that you hear again and again when ask you people how they feel is, we hate you. we hate all of you. it's voter anger, and this just stoked that. this vindicated people who think these guys don't know what they're doing. >> it reinforces disfunction in congress and drives the numbers of congress down which is not it's not helpful for republicans but in the narrow interest of the house republicans who revolted, they're not facing tough races this fall. >> right. and they're going through -- if you look at what this electorate will be anywhere between 3% and 7% latino if you look at the house versus the senate, so it's not going to be huge hispanic electorate. >> people asked me if i understand the congress because i've been in washington for 25 years, i said no i understand the congress because i have a 3-year-old. that'sen insult to my 3-year-old. if it puzzles you the republicans are suing the president, we'll show you the
nearly 10 million reasons why. but first, in this week's politicians say the darnedest things we'll replay a greatest hit, speaker john boehner back home venting about how some of his members just don't like to take tough votes. >> here's the attitude. ooh, don't make me do this! ooh! this is too hard! you should hear them. wondering what that is? that, my friends, is everything. and with the quicksilver card from capital one, you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on everything you purchase.
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is coming from the president's own staff and democrats on capitol hill. why? because they're trying to rally their people to give money and to show up in this year's election. we have no plans to impeach the president. we have no future plan. listen, it's all a scam started by democrats at the white house. >> not all a scam. the speaker's right, he has never put impeachment on the table but a few republicans have, including sarah palin and that's why democrats have seized on, republicans who say impeach him or we'd like to impeach him or we'd vote for impeachments. democrats are using a lot of hyperbole to raise money. the house republicans are suing the president and guess what? they say they're suing it on principle but also trying to raise some political money off of it. here's a republican e-mail thanks for supporting the lawsuit. please send money so we can elect more republicans but the most surprising part of this is how much democrats love it. they love the republican talk of suing the president. now, they say speaker boehner says this opens the door to
impeachment. it's a fund-raising e-mail. lot of hyperbole, boehner refuses to say impeachment is off the table. you heard the speaker say impeachment is off the table. why are democrats doing this? let me give you 10 million reasons. they say since the republicans said we'd sue the president they raised nearly $10 million for house democratic campaign. jonathan martin, prove to me as we talked a little bit about the policy in the last block that all the parties care about here is raising money and getting to november. there's not really a serious conversation about getting anything done and this lawsuit idea for both parties serves that i purpose. they both love it because they gin up the base. >> classic washington symbiosis. the prospect for having anything done in the congress, john, that ship sailed months ago. we have been in campaign mode now since the start of this year, and frankly, the only window for getting anything done will probably be in the lame duck session after election day and before the next congress. >> the republican leadership has been surprised by the way this
backfired. it's what you get for being too cute. as you know the only reason they ever talked about suing the president was that they thought that was a way to deflate the impeachment. >> it did the opposite. >> instead it gave the white house an opening and the moment that i knew how much the white house loved this issue the very first day the president talked about a lawsuit, boehner talked about a lawsuit, i thought it seemed like a stunt, funny that, and i didn't put it in political playbook and the white house complained. boehner said i knew right away where this was headed. >> you see the president out there saying sue me, sue me. nancy pelosi, they love to talk about this because they're raising money off of it which they hope will help them in november. you hear the president from time to time talking about washington and he's trying to turn this to my advantage says the republicans want to sue him where he'd like to get some things done. listen. >> we could do so much more if congress would just come on and help out a little bit. just come on.
come on and help out a little bit. stop being mad all the time. stop hating all the time. >> smart politics for the president in this election year, a tough election year for him. robert, is there any evidence that the president has quietly tried to work with members of congress, his republican critics or that harry reid tried to come across to the senate? i know john boehner hasn't gone to harry reid. this is not all a democratic problem it's a mutual problem. is there any evidence the democrats tried to do what the president said which is get things done? >> i speak to house republicans and senate democrats there's not much engagement from the white house and i think the political strategy is entirely understandable. i wonder if the president's going to pay any political price to have such a midterm emphasis on people like steve stockman, sarah palin. sure, are they out there on the fringe of the right of the
republican party talking about impeachment but that isn't the core republican mettage this year so he's running against the extreme part of the party, not the center of the party and i wonder if voters will pay attention. >> but the thing is, with the lawsuit, that is the house republican, they own that, they obviously voted to pass it and sue the president. in the white house's eyes and i think in grassroots people's eyes as well, it's almost the same thing, right, and one of the things you've seen republicans try to cut this talk off of impeachment. in a lot of ways it's already out there. you listen to black radio, for instance, they're talking about impeachment and a lawsuit. we know in 1998 we've seen this before with clinton and it was black voters particularly in the south that really came to clinton's rescue, helped him stave off losing the senate. >> this is what drives mcconnell and boehner crazy, the story of our time in washington, the republican party poised to make big gains over a lackbash to the president, those gains are sometimied in part because they
had to mollify -- >> stymied and mollify, look at you. >> -- the fringe of their own party. >> those are big "new york times" words. >> exactly. >> you make a key point there, though. i think in that environment, where people have seen the republican big goals, they look at them now and think maybe not. one thing both parties agree on, there's not a giant waive out there. democrats think if they can lose only 8 to 12 house seats they'll be in play if they get a presidential win in 2016 to maybe get the majority back. they think you could have the senate the republicans need in the gain of six, they think it's possible. someone's got to get 51 or 52, we don't know who that someone is. is that a fair assessment they both view it as chess for the last three months? >> i think so. one of the frustrations on the republican side, what is the republican message? they're not going to bring an alternative, the affordable care act up in the house, they're having all this trouble passing a border bill, good luck trying to pass an alternative to obama care, but on jobs, on
entitlement reform, on the budget, there's not much consensus, it's not coherent on the gop side and so they feel optimistic ahead of the mid terms but there's not a core message. >> there's not a wave message. >> right there's not a wave message and looked like early on maybe it would be obama care but that seems to have subsided a bit and looks like republicans look like democrats in terms of all of these issues and they're just throwing them on the wall to see what sticks. >> here is an amazing sign of how bleak the environment is for democrat. democratic strategist said we're writing off voters who are angry. our target voters now are people who are worried, disappointed, concerned. those are the voters that they want. that's a bad place to be. it's mitigating a tough year. >> they think it was a little better than a couple months ago, a lot can change. up next our reporters share nuggets and get you out ahead of the big political news to come. ♪
withal come back. let's go around the "inside politics" table and help get you out ahead of the big political stories around the corner. nia-malika henderson. >> laura bush and michelle obama will meet with the spouses of the african leaders and this will be about the importance of women involving them in politics and educational initiatives in the different countries but it's also a rare show of bipartis bipartisansh bipartisanship, right, of coming together, of cooperation and something that this town after this week surely needs. >> a lesson for the men is what you're saying. >> yes. i didn't want to say it but that's what i mean. >> robert? >> the democratic presidential sweepstakes, we always hear about secretary clinton and we've heard recently a little bit about senator warren but
knot amy klobuchar of and mminn. should secretary clinton bow out of consideration, senator klobuchar is talking to donors and building up a national network and later this month she'll be in iowa. >> in iowa, hmm, from minnesota moving over to iowa. jonathan? >> two primaries to watch in tennessee and in kansas, both of which have incumbent republicans more center right, lamar alexander and pat roberts. national folks and the party feel both will be okay, it's a matter of the margin in each, but keep an eye on the races, because both states, tennessee and kansas, have moved sharply to the right in recent years. the tea party as well as taken hold in both places and there's some concern about roberts because of the campaign he's run where alexander has run a better campaign, but keep in mind alexander has been targeted by laura ingram and sarah palin over the immigration issue which
as we no he is boiling right now. >> watch and see if a surprise could be brewing. >> i think people agree so far this year winning the invisible primary has been rand paul, whether it's message travel, buzz, but his biggest hurdle what could keep him from being the nominee the buzz from people bob's been golfing with this week, war and policy. we've learned he'll try to fix that and give a speech about foreign policy late september early october, national defense university, and he's going to argue there that on the spectrum of people who want to intervene, people want to be everywhere, the isolationists, what he's accused of, people want to do nothing, he will argue he's smack in the middle, the same place that george h.w. bush was, reagan and ike was. >> it will be interesting if he says george h.w. bush. guy running for the republican nomination mentions george h.w. bush i'll buy you a beer.
i'll close with this one. three months out from election day, one big test to watch over the next 30 days up to labor day is how many of the democratic held senate seats from blue states can republicans keep as viable targets? let me give you two to watch, start oregon. monica webbie lags right now in fund-raising and in the polls but the koch brothers decided to make a big tv investment to see if they can move the numbers. . they can't move the numbers by labor day her outside money is likely to dry up, if not go away all together. one more is new hampshire. lot of republicans in the state are concerned that scott brown, remember he's the former massachusetts senator, has not been able to get closer in the polls to the democratic incumbent, jeanne shaheen. he's had a consistent lead. republicans say it has begun to shrink a little bit and they say, and i'll use a new england term here talking to one prominent republican, he says their one hope continues to be in new hampshire that president has "wicked bad" approval numbers in the state. keep an eye on those two. after labor day getting in the final stretch a lot of big
decisions have to be made not only by the national parties but the cast-rich superpacks to w.h.o. get precious resources. that's it for "inside politics." see you soon. "state of the union with candy "state of the union with candy crowley" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com the company turns prying eyes on the senate and israel turns a deaf ear to critics. today, stopping hamas. israel's war plan. >> translator: we will continue to operate no matter how much time it will take and how much force it will take. >> the latest from jerusalem and gaza. then, deep in the heart of texas, the governor who wants to be president takes on the current one. >> it is time to end our policy of calculated ambivalent and renew our commitment to a strong israel. >> rick perry with us exclusively on the conflict in the middle east, and the immigrn